The Deserts of Africa
Africa has long evoked tales of tribal peoples, big game, and exotic landscapes. In the year 2000, globalization aside, the deserts of the Dark ... Show synopsis Africa has long evoked tales of tribal peoples, big game, and exotic landscapes. In the year 2000, globalization aside, the deserts of the Dark Continent still retain their mystery. Through his images of these vast, deceptively desolate stretches, geographer and photographer Michael Martin lays bare the cultural and spiritual core of Africa. His travels across the Sahara, the Kalahari, the Namib, and the volcanic wastelands of the Rift Valley have also acquainted him with the diverse desert residents who eke out an existence in these harsh, parched regions.In The Deserts of Africa, Martin discovers the last functioning salt caravan on the Sahara, the Tarhalamt, which begins its journey after the rainy season. The Madugu leads the way without the aid of any visible landmarks, relying on the position of the sun, the structure of the sand, and the fast-fading traces of former caravans to drive his train of camels. Martin also captures the character of these majestic, water-bearing beasts, without whom man would not survive in the arid areas. In his portraits, the ergs -- huge, crescent-shaped dunes -- appear to have personalities unto themselves. With Martin's intimate yet respectful perspective, The Deserts of Africa exposes the surprisingly fertile soul of some of the most barren landscapes on Earth.